On a cold, raw night, the Phillies once again could not synch things up. Tonight they got good pitching but could not hit. This may have been facilitated by a “let’s get this game in and get the hell home” strike zone, but it seemed fair for both sides.
To be fair to the umpiring crew, nobody in New York wanted to go to this game on a miserable school night. Those who had to go rightfully wanted to go the hell home as soon as they could. It looked like tens of people may have shown up to sit in the stands to watch. Presumably, they had nothing better to do.
It was just a cold, dreary night. Those of us in Pennsylvania had to watch on cellphones and computers, since the game wasn’t on the teevees. The radio had no L.A., though Kevin Stocker has been game as an on-the-road sub for Larry. Still, it was thin porridge tonight, all the way around.
As to the baseball game, it was brisk but it wasn’t awful. At least the pitching wasn’t. Ben Lively matched up against Matt Harvey. Both had 5 strikeouts and 1 walk. Harvey went 5 scoreless innings, which is an outstanding outing in this dead arm era of bullpen death matches.
Lively pitched 5 and 2⁄3 innings, giving up two runs in the sixth before being pulled. He wasn’t pitching badly when Gabe Kapler came to the mound to put him down. The second run was given up on a ball low and out of the strike zone that Travis d’Arnaud just lofted to the outfield to drive in Todd Frazier. Lively’s removal was less a result of Lively’s ineffectiveness than Kapler’s itchy trigger finger, perhaps, or maybe the sense that two runs was close to insurmountable tonight.
Aside from Lively pitching reasonably well, there were...some...bright (?) spots for the Phillies? Maybe? Ok, anything after this point is going to be a stretch. It was near total offensive futility tonight.
Aaron Altherr walked in the fourth? Carlos Santana walked and Cesar Hernandez had a hit in the fifth? Nobody in the bullpen had an arm pulled off by a combine while harvesting grain in the outfield between innings? A facehugger didn’t leap out of one of the eggs left in J.P. Crawford’s rookie Easter basket in the second and attach itself to him, giving birth to a giant alien with acid blood about the eighth inning or so?
The Phillies did mount a rally in the ninth. Altherr led off with a walk off of Jeurys Familia to bring up Rhys Hoskins who...struck out. Odubel Herrera came to the plate...and my phone died.
It was like that tonight.
My radio updates (and Fangraphs) tell me things happened after that. Tantalizing things. But it was ultimately just an elaborate tease, spoiled at the end, as it were.
Herrera slapped a single, moving Altherr to third. And Scott Kin-gurrry (ugh, T-Mac) skipped his earnest young self up to the plate for a go at some late-inning, early season heroics. Right? Right?
At this stage, Familia took an intense interest in Herrera at first, throwing a season’s worth of balls to first as all of us wished for closure and being able to have that third glass of wine so we could go to bed...and Kingery fouled out down the first base line very anti-climatically.
The last hope of the Phillies came in the person of Andrew Knapp, and, well, despite 3 - 0, 3 - 1, and 3 - 2 counts...well, as the saying kind of goes: the vodka was good, but the meat was rotten. Knapp bounced to third for the final out, and I had that last glass of wine.
This is a game that we hope matters in September, since we want all of the games to matter, but we hope it doesn’t matter since they lost, and hopefully this one doesn’t end up hurting.
At least nobody got cholera. That we know of. Yet.
Enjoy tomorrow when our best player (Aaron Nola) is evidently viewable only on Facebook, which is probably the only platform out there right now that can make cable companies look like the good guys.
What was your favorite way to die in Oregon Trail?
This poll is closed
Freezing to death in the rain
Being attacked and eaten in Donner Pass by your fellow travelers after they build a snowman
In your chair in your lair while thinking about Gabe Kapler’s bullpen management as you sputter: "To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee; For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee!"